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  • International HR Day 2024: History, theme, & how to celebrate

International HR Day 2024: History, theme, & how to celebrate

  • Last Updated : May 19, 2024
  • 5 Min Read
International HR Day

Often, when we think about a workplace, we think about its employees, their productivity, the office environment, its culture, the atmosphere, and a lot more. But, do we think about the people who get all of these up and running? The answer is mostly no. This is because they usually work behind the scenes to keep the workplace running. This International HR Day, let's take a moment to learn everything about the day that celebrates HR professionals who put the humanity back into human resources and create a work environment that enables employees to grow and thrive. 

How did International HR Day originate?

Back in 2019, the European Association for People Management established International HR Day. They, as an organization, introduced International HR Day predominantly to bring the immense value HR professionals and HR practices offer to an organization behind the scenes to light, especially since HR professionals have started assuming more of a strategic role that impacts an organization's success directly. International HR Day originated as a way to raise awareness about what the role of an HR professional demands.

When is International HR Day celebrated?

Every year, International HR Day is celebrated on May 20, and this year, it happens to be a Monday. On this day, many international HR groups and associations come together to conduct a variety of activities including webinars, seminars, workshops, and conferences to help HR professionals stay on top of every trend and innovation shaping the future of the workplace including AI in HR, DEI initiatives, agile HR, HR tech, and a lot more.

What is the significance behind celebrating International HR Day?

Here are some of the common reasons why International HR Day is celebrated worldwide.

  • Appreciating the role of HR

Considering the crucial role they play in managing the most valuable assets of an organization (its employees), HR professionals deserve a day dedicated to celebrating everything they do to make sure employees have a smooth experience from hiring to offboarding. Organizations must recognize how HR professionals balance both their organizational and employee needs to keep the business successful.

  • Raising awareness about the role of HR

There was a time when HR teams were primarily responsible for administrative paperwork. However, today with globalization, digital transformation, and the pandemic, HR professionals have evolved to become strategic business partners. From managing employees in a way that enables them to achieve organizational goals to leading change management initiatives, no aspect is untouched by HR professionals. However, sometimes, it's easy for their work to go unnoticed since most of it happens behind the scenes. International HR Day is aimed at bringing awareness about the strategic role of HRs.

  • Promoting best HR practices

Since the role of an HR professional has a greater impact on an organization, International HR Day aims to provide an opportunity for HR professionals to come together and learn about the key HR trends and share their knowledge about innovative approaches that have personally helped their organization succeed. Since the role of HR professionals demands lifelong learning, HR Day aims to help HR professionals brainstorm and learn from each other.

What is the theme for International HR Day 2024?

Being the founding institution of International HR Day, the European Association for People Management decides the theme every year. As for 2024, the broader theme for International HR Day is "Shaping the new future". Under the broader theme of shaping the new future of the workplace, this particular International HR Day will focus on sub-trends, including championing ethical tech and AI integration, redefined future workplaces, excellence in people leadership, and continuous investment in skills and leadership.

How can organizations celebrate International HR Day?

Here are some of the different ways in which organizations can celebrate International HR Day to recognize and appreciate the efforts of their HR team.

  • Organize an awards ceremony

Since International HR Day is all about recognizing and celebrating the positive impact HR teams have on a company's success, why not organize an awards ceremony to publicly appreciate them and reflect on all the good work they've done for your organization? As a first step, make a list of individual and team achievements from your HR department and create different categories of awards to reward them. After finalizing the date and venue for the ceremony, plan an itinerary for the event. You can consider having speeches by your C-level leadership team to highlight the importance of the HR team. This can be followed by the awards ceremony and a proper dinner party.

  • Let employees write thank you messages

You can consider having appreciation walls all around your workspace and encourage your employees to write a few words of appreciation for your HR team. You can even consider running this like a contest, encouraging employees to share some of their proudest HR moments on the appreciation wall, where an HR professional went out of their way to help and support them. You can offer gifts to the top five or ten heartwarming entries and even appreciate and reward HR professionals who've had such a powerful impact on the lives of your employees. You can also use your company intranet to feature these stories and appreciation messages from your employees.

  • Offer professional development opportunities

Since the role of HR professionals requires lifelong learning, you can consider offering meaningful professional development opportunities for your HR team members. International HR Day is an excellent opportunity to offer training sessions that help your HR team stay on top of the best practices and trends shaping the future of key HR processes including recruitment, people management, compliance management, and more. You can also help them obtain certifications in certain key HR areas, including people analytics, talent planning, employee retention, and the like, from renowned HR institutions. Otherwise, you can also consider helping them attend conferences where they get to interact and exchange ideas with key industry experts, HR peers, technology vendors, and more.

  • Plan a gathering for your HR team

Chances are that your HR team would want a day out away from all the hustle and bustle. Use this International HR Day as an opportunity to give them their much-deserved break from the chaos of the workplace. This can either focus on well-being and mindful activities like meditation, yoga retreats, spas, and other similar wellness activities. Otherwise, you can organize a picnic kind of activity with games, food, movies, and other activities. Either way, try to learn their expectations and organize activities that cater to their needs.

  • Give them the spotlight

Since HR professionals mostly work behind the scenes, giving them the spotlight that they deserve for all the hard work they put in can make them happy on International HR Day. You can use your company's social media channels to appreciate your HR team publicly and highlight their achievements so there's awareness about the kind of work HR teams perform. This goes a long way towards keeping up their engagement, morale, and satisfaction levels. You can also encourage your employees to show their appreciation towards your HR team on social media so it reaches a larger audience.

Wrapping up

With International HR Day right around the corner, all of us at Zoho People are thrilled to send warm wishes to your HR team! Your dedication to bringing out the best in every employee and providing the support they need is truly commendable. Thank you for all that you do. Happy International HR Day!

  • tarika

    Content Specialist at Zoho People

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